Underworld – A hundred days off (The ’59) #268

The ’59 2018 #268: 180925

Underworld – A hundred days off (2002)

Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Today we’ve reached year 44 – 2002.

A Hundred Days Off was Underworld’s sixth, released in September 2002.

It produced two UK Singles Chart entries: “Two Months Off”, which reached no. 12 and “Dinosaur Adventure 3D”, which reached no. 34.

Although this was the first album since Darren Emerson’s departure from the group in 2001, the album is not a huge stylistic makeover as the main focus of the band is still trance, techno and house, although without the beats that defined 1999’s ‘Beaucoup Fish’.

Generally positive reviews from music critics followed its release. NME gave it 8/10 describing it as…

Their best album since their Dubnobasswithmyheadman debut, Karl and Rick have pulled off a comeback in fine style and laid some demons to rest. Underworld prove that you’re only as old as the technology you use”.

Stateside, Rolling Stone gave the album 3 out of 5 stars saying that…

The beauty of A Hundred Days Off is that it pumps and churns so suggestively; it somehow evokes the blues of the otherwise successful modern man, who goes out every night and dances alone in his head.

‘A Hundred Days Off’ rose to No.16 on the UK Albums Charts and No. 122 on the US Billboard 200.

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Sade – Diamond Life (The ’59) #163

The ’59 2018 #163: 180612

Sade – Diamond Life (1984)

This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 26 – 1984

Diamond Life was Sade’s  debut studio album  released in the United Kingdom on 16 July 1984 by Epic Records and in the United States on 27 February 1985 by Portrait Records.

After studying fashion design, and later modelling, Sade Adu began backup singing with a band called ‘Pride’ which, with Paul Anthony Cook, Paul Denman and Stuart Matthewman became ‘Sade’. Following various demos and performances, Sade received interest from record labels and later signed to Epic.

Recording for the album began in 1983 at The Power Plant in London and took a total of six weeks to complete.

Upon release, Diamond Life was met with acclaim from music critics and went on to win the Brit Award for Best British Album in 1985. Commercially the album was a success charting highly in the UK and US,  It spawned four singles including the hit singles “Your Love Is King” and “Smooth Operator”.

Enigma – MCMXC AD (Epic 2017 #068)

The Epic 2017 Project #068: 170309

Enigma – MCMXC AD (1990)

MCMXC a.D. (“1990″ in Roman numerals followed by an abbreviation of Anno Domini) is the first studio album by the German music project Enigma, headed by Romanian-German musician Michael Cretu, released on 10 December 1990 by Virgin Records in the United Kingdom and on 28 January 1991 by Charisma Records in the United States.

Before he founded Enigma, Cretu had released several solo records, collaborated with various artists, and produced albums for his then wife, German pop singer Sandra. Following their marriage in 1988, Cretu developed an idea for a New-age music project named Enigma, and recorded MCMXC a.D. in eight months at A.R.T. Studios, his home studio located in Ibiza, Spain. It is one of the first albums recorded onto a hard disk drive. Cretu makes extensive use of Gregorian chants, dance beats, and flute sounds.

MCMXC a.D. received some criticism for its sexual and religious themes and connotations but it became a worldwide success, reaching the top 10 in ten countries, including the United Kingdom, and No. 6 in the United States where it sold over 4 million copies and stayed on the Billboard 200 chart for 282 weeks. Four singles from the album were released—”Sadeness (Part I)”, “Mea Culpa (Part II)”, “Principles of Lust”, and “The Rivers of Belief”. “Sadeness (Part 1)” topped the singles charts worldwide and remains Enigma’s most successful single.

Wildlife Festival

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Wildlife Festival took place over the weekend of 6 & 7 June 2015 at Shoreham Airport, Sussex, UK. The biggest music festival to date in Sussex and one of the biggest in Southern England, it attracted 35,000 for headline acts including George Ezra, Rudimental, Annie Mac, Nas and Disclosure.

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The site was huge; aircraft were grounded for the weekend and the fenced off area over the east-west runway included the main stage, two dance stages like the above built to resemble the art deco 1930’s airport terminus and two massive DJ set marquees.

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Having a festival of such calibre right on one’s doorstep is a massive bonus; being able to walk from home through our town, across the river and into the grounds and hear and see a host of live music and thumping tunes is a second-to-none privilege which very few actually get to be part of. The queue for advance sale tickets back in a winter storm in January was well worth the wait.

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There was so much to choose from that, on the Saturday, all we did was wander from dance tent to marquee to main stage and back, taking in a bit of this and a bit of that and simply soaking up the joy of being there. And in the sun!

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Soul II Soul followed by George Ezra probably stole the show for the Saturday afternoon with similar glory going to Nas and Rudimental for the night time slots. However, the wind had got up by the time Nas came on so we were content to listen to his set over the air as we wandered back home to the warmth.

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Annie Mac’s DJ slot early on Sunday evening  was sublime, capturing the spirt of the occasion and working the enthusiastic crowd admirably towards a crescendo warm up to the kingpin act of the weekend – Sunday night’s Disclosure.

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And what a way to finish a totally stunning festival. Disclosure creamed it. With a light show to quite literally blow your mind and a series of guest performers, the DJ duo of Guy and Howard Lawrence took the enraptured crowd though a blistering set of old and new tracks, including at least half a dozen from their soon-to-be-released new album.

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